There are many solutions out there to help you get a whiter and brighter smile. You can find products in the local grocery store to help you remove surface-level stains. But if you have stubborn stains on your teeth that do not respond to DIY methods you may have to consider other options in order to get the white smile you are imagining. Three of the most effective options for getting a whiter smile include professional teeth whitening, veneers, and porcelain crowns. Each option is different and your specific situation will determine which is best for you.
Professional teeth whitening
You can get professional teeth whitening in a dental office to brighten your smile. The exact type of teeth whitening that dentists offer can vary but each is designed to provide the highest level of teeth whitening available. This option is often much more effective at removing stubborn stains than at-home treatments. If your teeth are discolored from everyday causes such as drinking coffee then professional teeth whitening is a great place to start.
In some situations, discolored teeth are caused by more than simple surface stains. Injury to your teeth can lead to discoloration. In addition, there are some types of medications – such as tetracycline - that can cause your teeth to become discolored on a much deeper level. These types of discoloration will not respond to any of the surface-level whitening options. If the discoloration of your teeth is permanent, veneers may be a viable option for hiding those stains.
Porcelain crowns can hide a wide range of issues that you have with your teeth including discoloration. These are often presented as a possibility when the other options mentioned above are found to be ineffective. Oftentimes people who opt for porcelain crowns want a whiter smile but also have other damage to their teeth. The preparation and time required for porcelain crowns make it the most invasive of the three options mentioned here.
Just about any smile can be brightened with the help of the three options mentioned above. If you are trying to determine which one is the best choice for you start by considering how severely discolored your teeth currently appear and how much they bother you. If they were a couple of shades lighter would you be happy? Are you so embarrassed by the condition of your teeth that you avoid smiling so others do not notice? Do you have discoloration that has been around for a long time? Answering these questions will give you a place to start. In addition, you can talk to your dentist to get a professional opinion about which option is best for your situation.
Julie C Berger, DDS, MA, FACP is a local Gettysburg dentist and a board certified prosthodontist specialist. She is a former full time instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.